Book Review: An Intimate History of Humanity

Julia Clark, 2006. Book Review: An Intimate History of Humanity. Reformulation, Summer, p.18.


‘AN INTIMATE HISTORY OF HUMANITY’

BY THEODORE ZELDIN

Reviewed by Julia Clark

If you have not already come across Theodore Zeldin’s ‘An Intimate History of Humanity’, first published in 1994, it is as fresh and relevant today as it was over a decade ago.

It could be seen as a reformulation for humanity, with its detailed look at the various problem patterns of individual “persons” and the forms of pain associated with those patterns, all so delicately drawn. As a CAT therapist, there was a familiarity about this attention to the minute detail of suffering and joy. However, he uses both a “microscope” and a “telescope” to explore his themes; it is his capacity to set each struggle within its local and universal and historical context that is so exciting, so challenging to our more accustomed horizons. He throws up new ways of looking at situations that are familiar and has an amazing grasp of cultures that are less familiar. He encourages reflection on the “dilemmas” that face humanity, in order to “show that humans have more options before them than they currently believe”; he points to “new visions of the future” for “the whole of humanity”. At a rather dark time in our global history (and he observes the growing tension between fundamentalist religions), he injects hope by encouraging us to be more creative in the ways we relate, in our patterns of intimacy and connection, to be more “hospitable” to each other.

Reading this book was an experience, a slow read demanding concentration and time for assimilation; it was also absolutely gripping. Justice cannot be done to its richness and depth in a brief review. It would have passed me by had not a departing client left it as a gift, a treasure.

Full Reference

Julia Clark, 2006. Book Review: An Intimate History of Humanity. Reformulation, Summer, p.18.

Search the Library

Related Articles

Letters to the Editors: Mindfulness
Clark, J., 2003. Letters to the Editors: Mindfulness. Reformulation, Summer, pp.8-9.

Book Reviews
Tony Ryle and Miranda Buckley, 2005. Book Reviews. Reformulation, Autumn, pp.27-28.

Letter from the Chair of ACAT
Hepple, J., 2012. Letter from the Chair of ACAT. Reformulation, Winter, p.5.

Whose Reformulation is it Anyway?
Jenaway, Dr A., 2011. Whose Reformulation is it Anyway?. Reformulation, Winter, pp.26-29.

Book Review: Self-Harm Assessment in Young People – A Therapeutic Assessment manual By Dennis Ougrin, Tobias Zundel and Audrey V. Ng Published by Hodder Arnold, 2010
Jenaway, Dr A., 2010. Book Review: Self-Harm Assessment in Young People – A Therapeutic Assessment manual By Dennis Ougrin, Tobias Zundel and Audrey V. Ng Published by Hodder Arnold, 2010. Reformulation, Summer, p.49.

Other Articles in the Same Issue

Book Review: An Intimate History of Humanity
Julia Clark, 2006. Book Review: An Intimate History of Humanity. Reformulation, Summer, p.18.

CAT in the North-East of England
Anna Jellema, 2006. CAT in the North-East of England. Reformulation, Summer, p.19.

CAT Skills Training in Mental Health Settings
Freshwater, K. and Kerr, I., 2006. CAT Skills Training in Mental Health Settings. Reformulation, Summer, pp.17-18.

CAT with Teenagers and Teenagers Leaving Care
Jenaway, A., 2006. CAT with Teenagers and Teenagers Leaving Care. Reformulation, Summer, pp.3-4.

Change of State: Learning How To Manage Unmanageable Feelings and States
Bristow, J., 2006. Change of State: Learning How To Manage Unmanageable Feelings and States. Reformulation, Summer, pp.6-7.

CPD Events
Miranda Buckley and John Bristow, 2006. CPD Events. Reformulation, Summer, p.18.

CPD in the South West
Yvonne Stevens, 2006. CPD in the South West. Reformulation, Summer, p.18.

Family Constellations and CAT: Reciprocal Roles Through The Generations?
Bancheva, M., 2006. Family Constellations and CAT: Reciprocal Roles Through The Generations?. Reformulation, Summer, pp.15-17.

Help

This site has recently been updated to be Mobile Friendly. We are working through the pages to check everything is working properly. If you spot a problem please email support@acat.me.uk and we'll look into it. Thank you.